NAGPUR: Farmer activist Kishore Tiwari today condemned Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh's remark that the protest by farmers in various parts of the country were attempts to get media attention.
Tiwari, who heads Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission, said the minister's remark are "unfortunate" and amount to "rubbing salt on the wounds of dying agrarian community".
The farmers have launched a 10-day agitation to press their demands, including loan waiver and right price for crops.
Tiwari alleged that banks have yet to start disbursal of fresh crop loans to distressed farmers, and blamed "hostile credit policy" of Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).
He said despite announcing a mega loan waiver last year, the Maharashtra government has so far failed to ensure that farmers are being paid fair and remunerative price for pulses and gram.
"The Maharashtra government started implementing the mega agricultural debt waiver and debt relief scheme this year for around 60 lakh farmers.
However, as the state has no direct control over functioning of PSU banks, needy and debt-ridden farmers are not able to get timely and sufficient credit," he said in a statement.